Youth will know his fate next week for stabbing his friend

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Akiel Burnham has to return to court next week to learn how much he will have to pay his friend, Kishorn Benjamin, who he admittedly stabbed twice in the abdomen during an incident in Sea View Farm.
During a sentencing exercise which commenced in the High Court yesterday, Justice Keith Thom was told that Benjamin is overseas and he would be available to speak to the court via skype as it relates to the compensation he would require for his suffering.
Prosecutor Shannon Jones-Gittens noted that Burnham, who pleaded guilty, was the good friend and fellow villager of the victim.
She said the two friends had no issues, but Burnham and Benjamin’s girlfriend did not get along at all.
About 7 pm on the night of March 24, 2015, Burnham went to a shop where he met Benjamin. When he saw Benjamin’s girlfriend at the shop, he went up to her and put his hand in her face, and she slapped it away.
Burnham slapped the young woman across the face and they started fighting. Benjamin intervened and while he was struggling with Burnham, someone pulled him (Benjamin) away.
That’s when Burnham brandished a knife and stabbed his friend twice in the abdomen, and even while the person continued to separate the men, Burnham tried to go after Benjamin again.
The latter was taken to hospital where he had to undergo surgery. He was admitted to Mount St John’s Medical Centre for four days.
When the police questioned Burnham, he admitted all of the above but explained that he picked up the knife from the “turf” when Benjamin was beating him, and he used it to defend himself.
At the hearing yesterday, his lawyer Lawrence Daniels acknowledged the seriousness of the offence and said his client was willing to undergo counselling for anger management.
He said Burnham had to discontinue his education at the age of 16 to help his family and he pleaded with Justice Thom not to impose a custodial sentence on the young man so he could get an opportunity to be a father to his only child.
At the time of the incident, Burnham was 19 and Benjamin was 22. Daniels said the two friends “had a beer” and his client apologised to his friend after the incident.

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